In an ideal world, by the time you send your proposal, your prospect is all set to sign on the dotted line. But sometimes they’re not. What can you do when prospects say “no”?
Do you let that “no” stop you from trying again? Do you let it take your confidence, so you doubt every future move? What you do next will depend on your mindset, but if you can find positive ways to deal with the denials head-on and move forward, you’ll have a more successful business. Your business (and some might say mental health) depend on it.
Here are a few tips you can use when prospects tell you “no.”
Don’t Take It Personally
It’s just business, but sometimes it can be hard not to take the rejection personally, especially as a new B2B copywriter. Getting rejected doesn’t mean you don’t have the right skills or that you’re not talented.
But moving past that rejection can be hard. Taking it personally is one of the biggest mistakes freelancers make, and we’ve all done it. It can affect your confidence and make you doubt yourself.
Some psychologists say that “the source of confidence is self-acceptance.” And only by accepting those hurt feelings can you move past them and get back to your confident self. You’re acknowledging the way you’re feeling instead of trying to pretend everything is fine when it’s not.
The key to wallowing productively is to give yourself a time limit to feel bad. Once that’s over, it’s time to pick yourself up and get moving forward again. I usually give myself a few hours or an afternoon, depending on the depth of the rejection. I always feel better and more clear-headed than if I tried to power through it.
Understand the Comments
Hopefully, the prospect told you with some level of detail why they didn’t like it. A vague “We’ll pass on this project” doesn’t help you at all, so if you feel comfortable, reach out to ask what they didn’t like. You can’t do anything about a change in budget or timeline, but you can change your pricing or proposal layout.
Note, though: that’s not to say that you should just reduce the fees you’ve already decided you need to earn to run your business because they may have said your pricing is too high.
Maybe the real issue is you were trying to bring on the wrong prospect, one whose budget isn’t aligned with your professional status.
They probably mentioned something they didn’t like about your proposal, right? Review that info to make sure you understand what they meant. Ask for clarification if they don’t. They may not always answer you, but you’ll have tried.
Learn From the Feedback
There’s an old adage in sports that “Every loss is a learning opportunity,” and that’s so true. Rejections can make you a better writer and business owner, but only if you learn from the feedback.
Your prospects probably gave you some feedback about the proposal, right? Use the comments to make future proposals better and eliminate the imperfections that tripped them up. Remember, the feedback isn’t about you; it’s about your proposal, so use that objective feedback to make the next one better.
Change Your Mindset from Negative to Positive
You must move past your allotted wallowing time and think about your next move if you want your business to succeed. One way to do that is to imagine how things will be once you succeed. Think positively about your next series of actions, and you’ll find your perspective change on prospecting and marketing your B2B writing business.
Get Expert Help
If the feedback on your proposal was about the language, grammar, or layout, you might want to get expert help for that. You could hire a freelance editor to check over everything you write before sending it to a prospect or client. You could use templates for your proposal layouts to help them look as professional as possible. Experts can help you take your proposals to the next level and keep prospects focused on the work and not the superficial part of the process.
Nobody likes rejection, but it’s what you do after that matters. The next time a prospect says “no,” use these tips to turn the experience into a positive one. Your future self, and business, will be better for it.